Drunk Off-Duty Officer Causes Fatal Wrong-Way Crash
An off-duty police officer reportedly consumed eleven drinks and then drove his car two miles in the wrong direction on the Sunrise Highway in Queens. The officer crashed into a van and caused the death of its driver in the early hours of September 27.
More than an hour after the crash, the twenty-four-year-old officer’s blood alcohol content was still over double (.174 percent) the legal limit (.08 percent) from the ten pints of beer and lone margarita he drank in a bar with fellow officers. After the impact, the victim survived, according to witnesses who could hear him, but he tragically could not escape. His vehicle caught on fire, and he died while trapped in the blaze. He had been heading to his contracting job of twenty years at the time of the crash. A news account can be found here.
According to a report in the NY Post, the officer was “later charged with reckless endangerment and suspended from duty without pay.” The Suffolk district attorney said that the accused was “arraigned on upgraded charges that included aggravated vehicular homicide.”
In a videotaped comment, the driver’s lawyer countered with the following statement: “His being on the wrong side of the road had nothing to do with alcohol consumption . . . We plan to strongly and vigorously defend the allegations in this case.” The off-duty officer lost part of one leg due to the crash.
The Costs of Drunk Driving
Drunk driving continues to be a scourge in the United States, claiming 10,265 lives in 2015 and injuring approximately 290,000 people. These numbers cost American taxpayers $132 billion dollars, but the grief and lives shattered by these deaths is without measure.
Recklessness on the roads we share can claim lives in an instant. Drunk driving is one of the worst examples of grossly negligent driving behavior that can impact the public at large. Despite decades of driver awareness campaigns, there are still legions of drivers who think that they are either immune to alcohol impairment or above the law.
Servers Could Be at Fault, Too
In addition to drivers being held accountable, dram shop laws can also place blame on vendors who over-serve patrons or serve underage patrons. New York statute §§11-100 covers serving to minors and §§11-101 covers serving an already intoxicated patron. The drunk person who does wrong cannot turn around and sue the bar owner, but someone affected by the drunk person’s actions potentially can.
Consult a Queens Car Crash Attorney
At Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP, we know personal injury law and have extensive experience with car accident and wrongful death cases. If you’ve been hurt in a wreck or lost a loved one, we can discuss your case with you and help you get a fair insurance settlement from the at-fault parties and insurance companies. Our proven track record in court and at the negotiating table can serve you well.
Please call 1-800-VICTIM-2 (842-8462) today or complete the form below to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation. Don’t let an insurance company or the legal system make you a victim twice.